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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Oct 19, 2013.

Question

If my kids have bank accounts with debit cards, what is the best way for me to teach them how to balance their checking accounts? They don''t want to stop every time they pay with their debit card and write it down in a check register.

Answer

That is a great question. Many folks have the same issue of balancing their checkbooks with the new technologies like debit cards and online banking. I don't know that there is a perfect answer to your question. It may depend on how much is in the account, how many transactions they complete and how close to the over-drafting the account. There are programs such as Mint.com that can help track and budget. It will send an email alert when balances get low. I'm sure there are many others out there some of which are probably smart phone apps.

More importantly, I would teach them financial discipline and the importance for living within their means. If they are able to do that, then balancing the check book should come as a result.


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